2023 Moments & Milestones

As we round off 2023, we are excited to reflect back on some of the moments and milestones that made this year such a meaningful one for BEAM Circular and our community.

The Launch of BEAM Circular

January marked the official kickoff of the BioEconomy, Agriculture, & Manufacturing (BEAM) Initiative with a seed commitment of $10 million by Stanislaus County. BEAM was catalyzed by Stanislaus 2030 (Stan2030), a public-private partnership that advances a shared vision for economic prosperity. Stan2030 identified the growing bioeconomy as a unique opportunity for the region to generate quality jobs and recommended specific strategies to nurture the growth of bioindustry activities in our region. BEAM Circular was formed to drive these strategies forward, and to establish the tri-county North San Joaquin Valley as a global leader in the circular bioeconomy. We are now working alongside a growing coalition of public and private partners to align the resources, policies, talent, and innovation necessary to transform waste into economic and environmental solutions for local communities in the Valley and beyond.

National Science Foundation Engines Development Award

The announcement in May of a $1 million award from the NSF was a watershed moment for BEAM Circular and our partner coalition, CBIO Collaborative, co-led by UC Merced and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Our team is among an inaugural cohort of just a few dozen projects across the U.S. supported by the new NSF Regional Innovation Engines program to catalyze economic, societal, and technological opportunities. The award recognizes our community’s promise as a rising leader in circular bioeconomy innovation, and it is supporting ongoing planning efforts to drive R&D and scale-up of bio-based products and climate solutions.

Hosting Leaders from Sacramento and Around the World

An especially meaningful part of our work is celebrating our unique region, forging new connections, and sharing learnings about the circular bioeconomy through site visits with leaders and collaborators from around the world. One of our favorite visits this year was a tour we hosted in February for Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). “This is exactly what we need for the future,” said Secretary Ross of BEAM. “This is about solving problems and finding productive solutions for our renewable resources, and about creating sustainable, community-inclusive economic growth and jobs to support families in the rural communities of the Central Valley.” (Read more about the tour in the CDFA Blog)

Another highlight was hosting a delegation from the Emerson Collective of climate solution leaders from around the world. The Emerson Fellow cohort joined us in the valley for a two-day learning tour in July to explore innovation at the intersections of food and agriculture, climate, and community. The visit included meetings with the Almond Board of California, Turlock Irrigation District, UC Merced and F3 Innovate, North Valley Labor Federation, Edge Collaborative, ARKEN Strategies and farmworker partners, including Binational of Central California, among other community leaders.

$3.6 Million California Economic Development Pilot Grant

In May, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $3.6 million pilot award to BEAM Circular as part of California Jobs First. The funding will help launch a variety of activities across BEAM’s portfolio, including an accelerator program, technical assistance for local businesses, community engagement work, research on the bioeconomy supply chain, and workforce development programs. The grant is part of a total $15.4 million committed to the BEAM Initiative over its first year from federal, state, local, and private sources, establishing a strong foundation for long-term investment in our community and vision for a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economy.

The CBIO Collaborative Design Forum

In October, BEAM Circular convened over 100 diverse partners and collaborators at Modesto Junior College for a full day of interactive planning, learning sessions, design workshops, and engagement with leading bioeconomy innovators and community advocates. This CBIO Collaborative event was a critical opportunity for collaborators across sectors to shape the direction of our regional ecosystem, with outputs shared in the CBIO year-end report.

Building the BEAM Team

As we head into 2024, we are tremendously grateful and heartened by the countless enthusiastic and creative partners who have shaped our work to date. We want to particularly appreciate our incubating partner Opportunity Stanislaus, along with the CBIO Collaborative leadership team and the many subject matter advisers who have supported and guided our work to date.

We are also delighted to share that BEAM Circular is growing its staff team, with the recent addition of several key hires including Chief Operating & Financial Officer Maria Olide, Director of Community Engagement Matthew Godinez, and Program and Operations Associate Jessica Hilboldt.

We look forward to continuing to grow our community of partners, collaborators, and changemakers in the year to come, and to building upon the momentum of this inspiring first year. Thank you for being part of the journey!

In partnership,

Karen Warner

Founder and CEO, BEAM Circular


Big Lots opening in Madera? What does Ross sign mean?

Madera residents have made it known that they’d like more shopping options in their own city. The appearance of a Ross Stores sign at the Madera Marketplace shopping center sparked an excited social media conversation among them about when a location might open on Cleveland Avenue, just west of Highway 99. It’s the latest indication that bigger retail might be looking at the city of Madera more than it has in the past. In fact, Big Lots, the discount retailer, said several years ago that it would be coming back to Madera. Locals have been wondering if it will ever happen. The 36,760 square-foot space the discount retailer was set to occupy in the Country Club Village shopping center, just east of Highway 99, has been empty for two years. Big Lots said it has not abandoned plans to open a store at 1143 Country Club Dr.

“The original opening dates were pushed back due to some construction delays, but we’re on track for a summer 2024 grand opening,” company spokesperson Joshua Chaney said in an email to The Bee. Big Lots stores typically employ around 25 to 30 full and part-time associates, Chaney said. Jobs available for the Madera store will be posted on the company’s careers web page a few months ahead of the summer opening. As Madera grows, residents increasingly crave more retail options and often complain on social media that they’re tired of driving to Fresno and other far off points to find the big retail options they want. The city of 68,000 people has been growing, seeing a population increase of nearly 11% since 2010. In the past few months, they’ve seen the opening of a Smart & Final store and an In-N-Out restaurant in the same corridor where Ross is set to open. Ross Stores would not provide details about when it will open the store planned for the tenant space next to the city’s Smart & Final store. Pearson Companies CEO Peter J. Orlando, a real estate broker who works with Ross Stores in the Central Valley, wrote in an email to The Bee that it could be a few months before a date is known.


Library patrons can look forward to enhancements

Kings County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with 4Creeks, Incorporated to prepare a plan, specification, and estimate package for the Kings County Library remodel project Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Board approved the agreement and adopted the budget change. Hanford Library Manager Tanya Russell told The Sentinel she and staff see a need at both libraries.

“The Hanford and Lemoore libraries are in critical need of infrastructure modernization and life safety measures,” Russell said. “This is what prompted the application for the grant funds, and we are very happy to have been awarded.”

4Creeks, one of two bidders, will be compensated $1,317,000 in architectural design services as outlined in the agreement. The project will primarily cover fire systems, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems, and address ADA accessibility and safety. In 2022, the Library received a California State Library Building Forward Infrastructure grant award for life safety and critical infrastructure needs.

The Library was awarded $13,639,097, according to a Building Forward Library Facilities Improvement Program document. There was $489 million made available in grant funding, marking the single largest investment ever in California libraries. The Hanford Library was built in 1968, and the Lemoore Library was built in 1952, and remodeled in 1981.

Library contingency funds, $279,300, are designated for architectural designs and estimates that cover optional items at both libraries. Russell said these optional remodel items include new study rooms, children’s sections and teen sections. Another optional remodel item at the Hanford library is the addition of a multi-purpose room with after-hour access.

A librarian’s office and a secondary entrance are optional items at the Lemoore Library.

“Throughout the years, the community has expressed the need for ADA-compliant restrooms to also include infant changing areas and security cameras to make people feel safer has been a request,” Russell said. “Enclosed quiet study rooms have been a request as well.”

Russell said that the library was also recently awarded $6,500 for the lunch at the library summer program. Stratford, Kettleman City, Avenal, and Armona schools are partnering with the library to give children free books for home and to provide essential nutrition information. Russell said officials and staff intend to host two to three community outreach updates throughout the remodeling project.


A battery energy storage complex that could provide the energy needs of 300,000 homes concurrently is being proposed 22 miles to the southwest of Manteca.

The 400-megawatt storage facility would tie into PG&E’s Tesla substation near the Alameda-San Joaquin County line.

As such, one day it could store electricity needed to help power homes and businesses in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop as California moves toward a goal of 100 percent “clean” energy by 2045.

Such battery storage farms are needed in order to save excess electricity generated when the sun is out, and the wind is blowing for use when solar panels and/or wind turbines aren’t generating power.

The Korda Energy Storage project will consist of 500 free standing batteries that are each 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9.5 feet tall.

It will be one of the largest, if not the largest, battery energy storage farm in California when it becomes operational.

The project before the San Joaquin County Planning Commission when they meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in Stockton will be four times larger than a similar facility getting ready to move forward in Ripon.

The Ripon project with a capacity of 100 megawatts is being pursued immediately west of the Flying J Truck Plaza.

It is planned for a 4.9-acre triangle parcel bordered on the north by Santos Avenue, on the east by Frontage Road along with Highway 99, and Flying J.

A PG&E substation is located in the southern part of the property.

The Tesla mega battery packs — or similar batteries — will be placed in 11 rows. Eight of those rows will go the width of the property with eight feet between rows. The longest row will approach 600 feet in length.

Three shorter rows of battery packs will be place east of the Ripon substation.

The county project being proposed is south of Tracy along Patterson Pass Road some 2,000 feet south of Midway Road.

The 40-acre Korda site with be about 9/10th of a mile east of Interstate 580.

It is part of a 106-acre agricultural parcel. A $30,000 fee will need to be paid for withdrawing the 40 acres out of a Williamson Act contract that sets property assessments at a lower rate to help assure the economic viability of farming.

The 400-megawatt storage facility has a 35-year life expectancy. It is expected to be operational by 2025.

One megawatt, on average, supplies the needs of 750 homes.

For an idea of what that means, it is enough power for 26,000 plus homes or the equivalent of 11.5 cities the size of Manteca.

Manteca has roughly 26,000 housing units and a population of 90,000.

PG&E as of the end of 2023 had contracts for battery energy storage systems totaling more than 3,330 MW of capacity being deployed throughout California through 2024.


Tejon Ranch Co. Breaks Ground on 700,000 SF Nestlé USA Distribution Center in California

TEJON RANCH, CALIF. — Tejon Ranch Co. has begun construction on a distribution center for Nestlé USA Inc., the world’s largest food and beverage company. The development is located on 58 acres of Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC) in Tejon Ranch, approximately 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The multi-story, 700,000-square-foot building will be fully automated to serve Nestlé’s portfolio and designed to support future growth and expansion plans. No official opening date has been announced, but Nestlé is targeting 2025 for initial completion of construction and 2026 for commencement of operations.

TRCC represents more than 2.5 million square feet of industrial space either under construction or completed.

Mac Hewett, Mike McCrary and Brent Weirick of JLL represented Tejon Ranch Co. in the 58-acre land sale transaction.


US Cold Storage in Tulare plans $76 mil expansion after food package deal

United States Cold Storage Inc. expects to complete an 8.56- million-cubic-foot refrigerated addition at its Tulare North warehouse in Tulare come February 2025.

This $75.7 million expansion will include some of the industry’s latest storage and retrieval automation and bring the operation’s total space to more than 24.7 million cubic feet, the largest single footprint in the company’s network.

“I am thrilled for our fifth strategic expansion in Tulare,” said Rod Noll, USCS senior vice president for the Western Region. “This expansion reflects the continued growth of some of our major customers who are broadening their manufacturing capabilities. Specifically, we have a consumer-packaged goods customer relocating its business to northern California and to this facility.

“Meanwhile, we also look forward to contributing to the local Tulare business community and creating additional job opportunities.”

Tulare City Manager Marc Mondell added praise. “US Cold Storage has been a fantastic local employer and partner for over 20 years,” he said.  We are thrilled that they are making another large investment into their Tulare facility and look forward to many more years of successful collaboration.”

US Cold Storage plans to break ground for the attached expansion this month, which will ultimately include two new refrigerated rooms capable of storage down to -20F degrees. Officials expect by this November to complete a conventional storage space spanning 3.08 million cubic feet. A second, 5.48 million-cubic- foot room is scheduled to open in February 2025. That space will feature very narrow aisle storage serviced by a warehouse guidance system and semi-automated, turret-style storage and retrieval forklifts.

Upon completion, Tulare North will have approximately 98,500 available pallet positions. The addition also includes 23 more shipping and receiving doors for the operation’s dock, which will boast 73 doors after completion.

“Tulare North is one of our largest facilities in the West Region,” Noll added. “Being a multi-dimensional facility, it can handle a large range of storage temperature requirements. Offering the flexibility of food grade ambient, refrigerated, frozen, and ice cream storage temps allows us to customize our services for many types of customers and many stages of production.”

USCS first built its Tulare North operation in 2002 as a 3.4 million-cubic-foot dry warehouse. Tulare North also offers import and export services, rail handling and product re-pack services. It also is certified according to the BRCGS Food Safety Global Standard. USCS also services the area from a second Tulare operation, a 7.3 million-cubic-foot Tulare South facility, which also offers ambient and refrigerated storage. USCS’s cold storage and logistics network spans 40 sites from coast to coast, including nine California locations from Sacramento and south to Bakersfield.  The company is a subsidiary of the U.K.’s John Swire & Sons Ltd.


Ever-expanding Tesoro Viejo adds 1,000 lots in Madera. High school, athletic facilities planned

Tesoro Viejo — Madera’s mammoth planned community — took another step Tuesday toward greater expansion as the county’s planning commission approved more than a thousand new residential lots. The subdivision maps approved by the commission set the stage for development in four of the community’s nine planned neighborhoods: Arroyo Village, The Vistas, Oak Knoll Village and The Vineyard.

The growing community already has an onsite K-8 school, a town center, an amphitheater and ranch houses for residents to hang out in — all surrounded by the Rio Mesa’s hilly landscape and bordered to the southeast by the San Joaquin River. Still in the works are an on-site school that also serves high school students, and the Rio Mesa Education Complex, which will include athletic facilities.

Brent McCaffrey, president of McCaffrey Homes, Tesoro Viejo’s developer, told the county’s planning commission he expects the education complex to be completed in the next few years. An age-qualified senior development on the southern edge is also in planning. According to McCaffrey’s presentation, homes planned for construction in each neighborhood are: 307 in Arroyo Village, 259 in The Vistas, 317 in The Vineyards, and 175 in Oak Knoll Village

Tesoro Viejo broke ground in the county’s Rio Mesa area in 2017. It falls under the county’s Rio Mesa Area Plan, a nearly 15,000-acre space bordered by Highway 145 to the north, Millerton Lake to the east, the San Joaquin River to the southeast and Highway 41 to the west. The county hopes to see the full 30,000 homes in the next 30 years.

Jamie Bax, Madera County’s director of community and economic development, said Tesoro Viejo has 922 projects in different phases of construction. The community was recognized this year as the National Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders. The Bee spoke to several residents who said that the broader development was starting to feel like a real community.

Lisa Wells, 57, and Laura Rios, 33, neighbors in the Hillside community, said they immediately “hit it off” when they moved in about four years ago. “We immediately became family,” Rios said.

Neighbors said book and bicycling clubs have formed. Brian and Renee Curwick, a married couple who also live in Hillside, joined a local running club before they even moved into the development.

“It absolutely has become a community in a short time,” Brian Curwick said.

So far, Tesoro Viejo has homes in three neighborhoods: Hillside Village, Creekside Village and The Plaza. KB Homes and De Young Properties are also developing homes there. According to McCaffrey’s presentation to the county and conversation with the Bee: 804 homes are planned for Hillside Village, with about 705 homeowners already living there 544 homes are planned for Creekside Village, with a few dozen homeowners already living there About 1,560 homes are planned for The Plaza, with approximately 46 already sold.

Upcoming in this neighborhood are also about 540 apartments, 230 duplexes and 250 “Wildrose” homes In The Plaza, sales are set to begin for Tesoro Viejo’s “Boulevard” product – two-story homes ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,700 square feet. Already on the market are the “Poppy” homes, which McCaffrey said are designed to be affordable for first-time home buyers. Prices for Poppy homes start in the $300,000s. “Tesoro Viejo is not about high-end living,” McCaffrey said. “We have made a commitment to having products that are available for all walks of life or demographics.”

Homes in the highest price ranges start in the high $500,000s with the Oaks collection and in the high $600,000s with the Ivy Collection, which has homes of more than 4,000 square feet. Different price ranges will also be found in the new subdivisions. McCaffrey said construction on Rio Mesa Boulevard — a new north-south road that will begin about 2,200 feet east of the Avenue 12 and Highway 41 intersection and traverse a few miles north to Avenue 15 — is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year. Traffic on Highway 41 has increased from an average of 29,000 daily trips when the development first began to about 40,000 daily trips today, he said.



Merced airport terminal project to usher in new transportation era, city says

City leaders and community members gathered to break ground on a $17 million terminal replacement project at the Merced Yosemite Regional Airport on Thursday. The new airport terminal is planned for the site of the former Hanger BBQ, according to Deputy City Manager Frank Quintero. It will have a dedicated TSA area, updated passenger areas, aviation and airport administration offices as well as upgrades to services in an effort to enhance the overall experience for airline passengers. The project will also include updates to the existing terminal built in the 1940s.

“Our airport is a diamond in the rough, said Quintero. “It’s a gem that has really not been appreciated but now we’re calling attention to it because we want to take it to the next level and that’s what this project is going to do.”

The total cost of the project is expected to be about $17 million for the 11,000 square-foot facility. According to Quintero, roughly $14 million comes from a Federal Aviation Administration grant. The project will introduce an energy-efficient and sustainable facility while meeting current and future demands and addressing the need for modernization, according to the city.

Merced Mayor Matthew Serratto called the project important saying it was one in a big line of really good city projects that are coming. According to Serrratto, the project is a step toward longer economic development, allowing Merced to truly live up to its name and to become a better gateway to Yosemite. “We’ll have planes, trains and automobiles coming here, people getting to Yosemite,” Serratto said.

According to Regional Airport Authority Chairman Bob Scoble, Merced’s airport was originally certified in 1932 and operated as an airport until about 1941-42 when the United State Army Air Corps used it as well as surrounding airports to conduct training for World War II pilots.

The airport was then returned to the City of Merced in 1945 and has continued to operate until today. The existing terminal was built by United Airlines in 1947.

Essential Air Service Provider Advanced Air, currently operates out of the airport, which is owned by the city. The airport offers daily flights to Harry Reid Airport in Las Vegas and Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Los Angeles County.



New development planned in 2024

New year, new construction planned throughout the city of Turlock. From houses to hotels, recreational spots to restaurants, here is a list of some things to expect in 2024.


New homes and apartments are expected to come to Turlock, with several already having been built.

Northeast Turlock has seen the development of new residential neighborhoods, which are being tabbed as the Legends North III, a project spearheaded by JKB Living. The new community will have 65 building sites with there being six different floor plans. There will also be a centralized neighborhood park.

Perhaps the largest residential project expected to be completed in 2024 is the Monte Vista Apartments at 1525 W. Monte Vista Ave., a 348-unit multi-family residential project. It was approved in August of 2021 and construction began this past May. There will be 12 three-story buildings approximately 40 feet in height, with each unit including a patio or balcony area. An exact competition date has not been shared.

Over in west Turlock at the vacant lot on the corner of 1150 Angelus St. and 700 S. Soderquist Rd., an application was approved in August to develop three properties with a total of seven residential units. Each unit will have two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and an outdoor patio area. The project was originally intended to be finished in 2022, but delays in the planning process pushed construction and opening to this year.


Two new hotels have been approved and are expected to be finished in 2024.

The first is the Marriott Towneplace at 201 N. Tully Rd., which was approved in Sept. of 2022. It will stand at 61 feet and 6 inches from grade to highest point. With these measurements, it will be the highest hotel in Turlock by 1 foot and 6 inches.

The other is Staybridge Suites at 2931 Sun Valley Ct. The hotel was approved in May and will also receive a 35-foot height limit exception.

Gas stations

Despite the sales of electric vehicles estimated to surpass over 1 million in 2023, according to Wards Intelligence and Cox Automotive, gas stations and accommodating convenience stores will continue to pop up around town.

In October, a Valero gas station and Circle K store opened at 2500 Fulkerth Rd. Joining it will be new stations at 4201 N. Golden State Blvd. and 129 E. Linwood Ave., respectively, though the brand of gas at each site has not been revealed.

In addition, there has been another gas station proposed for 4555 N. Golden State Blvd. A hearing date for this proposal has not been settled on.

Food and drink

Soon to neighbor the Valero gas station and Circle K mart on 2500 Fulkerth Rd. will be a Rally’s fast-food restaurant. The national chain is known for their burgers and fries. The project was originally expected to finish this past summer, and it is unclear why there has been a delay in construction.

There is another nationally known brand breaking ground in Turlock, and it’s one that Turlockers have become all too familiar with — Starbucks. Starbucks opened their 10th overall location and sixth standalone establishment in the city in late 2023 at 3085 N. Tegner Rd. A seventh standalone site, this one at 1100 W. Monte Vista Ave., is expected to open in the first quarter of 2024.

Aside from national chains, a family-owned Mexican restaurant will be built downtown at 309 N. Center St. The name is Nivel, which is Spanish for “Level.” It’s pretty self explanatory as the approved building will be two stories. The applicants hope that the new restaurant can become a hub for live entertainment, such as mariachi bands.


One of the most anticipated projects of the year will be the Columbia Pool on Columbia Avenue near Beech Street

The Columbia Pool was first constructed in 1957 and has undergone only minor repairs since 1990. The pool has been closed since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held at the pool site in early November. The project will cost $9,076,087.28, which takes into account construction, demolition of the old pool, and the purchase of pre-built structures for a concession stand, restrooms and a facilities/storage hut.


West Turlock will see two major industrial projects completed this year.

The first project expected to be finished is the 10,000 square-foot expansion of Valley Milk, LLC’s processing facility at 400 N Washington Rd. The expansion will allow the plant to start producing Anhydrous Milk Fat, which is a concentrated, lactose-free butter with a fat content of 99.8%. It is used for cooking and frying as well as a shortening for shortbread, praline fillings, chocolate, chocolate bars and ice cream. The project is expected to be done early this year.

Nearby at 4407 W. Main St., Massachusetts-based technology company Divert Inc. plans to build a new, 71,000 square-foot state-of-the-art food recovery facility. The facility, which is also expected to open in the first quarter of 2024, liquifies and purifies unsold food and processes it into a clean food slurry. The slurry is then pumped directly into an on-site anaerobic digester, where it is turned into biogas, a mixture of gasses, primarily consisting of methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The equipment then removes impurities from the biogas and upgrades it into pipeline quality Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to meet utility company standards.

Divert has come to an interconnection agreement with PG&E. When the project is completed and operational, the processed RNG will enter PG&E’s on-site transmission line, replacing fossil fuel gas with a carbon negative renewable fuel to supply homes and businesses.

Note: Expected completion dates for each project are subject to change.


McKinley Interchange Is Manteca Game Changer

The McKinley Avenue/120 Bypass interchange now under construction is a game changer for Manteca — and Lathrop.

It will:

*Take pressure off the Airport Way corridor.

*Provide more direct and quicker access to more than 3,000 homes under — or approved — for construction in southwest Manteca.

*Significantly improve access to the city’s fledgling family entertainment zone bookended by the 500-room Great Wolf resort and Big League Dreams and as such is expected to spur further development.

*Provides an essential link for an envisioned truck route system that will connect with the French Camp Road interchange on Highway 99 to help keep most future truck traffic out of residential and commercial areas in western Manteca.

*Help open up large parcels in eastern Lathrop for individual development as well as accommodate an approved business park on the northwest quadrant of the interchange that is within Lathrop’s city limits

City Manager Toni Lundgren noted that the pluses that the interchange will create will mean a lot of positive impacts for Manteca as well as Lathrop.

The interchange work is targeted for completion next year.

The project is being funded with $12.3 million in state funds, $7 million in Measure K funds collected from the countywide half cent road and transportation tax, and well as $8 million the city has collected in growth fees for major road endeavors..

DeSilva Gates Construction was awarded the bid of $23,387,387 to build  what will be the last interchange built on the six-mile 120 Bypass.

When completed there will be five interchanges with a mile between each — Yosemite Avenue in Lathrop as well as McKinley Avenue, Airport Way, Union Road and Main Street in Manteca. They are all bookended by the interchange with Interstate 5 on the west and the interchange with Highway 99 on the east.

The work is expected to be done just as ground breaks around mid- to late-2024 for the first phase of the $131.5 million revamp of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange.

The first phase of the 99/120 project will add a second transition lane to southbound Highway 99 from the 120 Bypass interchange. It also involves tearing down the existing Austin Road interchange on Highway 99 to accommodate additional freeway lanes.

The replacement overpass for Austin Road will be four lanes. It will also span the railroad tracks requiring connecting street work from Austin Road to Atherton Drive as well as a new crossing alignment for Woodward Avenue to reach Moffat Boulevard.

Manteca’s first partial

cloverleaf interchange

The McKinley interchange is designed as the city’s first partial cloverleaf. But in order to save money the city is opting to build the inner ramp loops at a later date.

That means the initial construction will have all left turns from McKinley Avenue to 120 Bypass onramps go through signalized intersections just as they currently do at the Airport, Union, and Main interchanges.

When the loops are completed northbound McKinley Avenue traffic will be able to get onto westbound 120 without going through a traffic signal as would southbound McKinley to eastbound 120.

It will include a separated bike path underneath the 120 Bypass that eventually will connect with the Atherton Drive bike path to provide access to Big League Dreams and the envisioned family entertainment zone.

Ultimately it will be a link in a separated bicycle pathway that loops the city going along McKinley Avenue north to connect with a path that cuts behind Del Webb at Woodbridge that crosses Union Road and ties into the Tidewater Bikeway. The Tidewater then heads south and ties in with the Atherton Drive Bikeway via Industrial Park Drive and Van Ryn Avenue.

The McKinley Avenue interchange is also part of the long-range circulation plan for Manteca south of the 120 Bypass where more than 60 percent of the city’s population is expected to be by 2040.